Aug 16, 2011
I don't want to delve too deep into the rules of the game, but I do want to give more than a brief overview as to what kinds of decisions you'll need to make to maximize your score. First, you have a limit of 7 meeples or pieces with which to take ownership. Several things such as roads are either scored at the end of the game or when completed. Consequently, you'll want to try to place pieces and get them scored so you can place them again and score more points with the same figure. Likewise, the big points are racked up with things like large fields which only score at the end of a game. If you place in a field and get cut off (i.e. end up with a small field) your piece won't score many points yielded wasted potential. Furthermore, every tile has a variety of different placements and you'll obviously want to choose the placement that offers the greatest benefit to the pieces that you have already placed.
Carcassonne relies entirely on the touch screen for play. Every turn you'll receive a tile to drag onto the board and be able to rotate it into position if applicable. The game clearly highlights spots in which a given piece can be played. Once a tile has been placed you can then click on a spot to place one of your pieces if you have any available. The game will then auto score if something such as a road has been completed allowing you to always see up to the second score tallies. Furthermore, once a tile can no longer be placed spots are darkened as dead spots that have no hope of a tile placement clearly illustrating that something may never be completed.
Graphically Carcassonne is excellent for a board game and its thematic audio certainly adds atmosphere. You can easily zoom in and out with the standard pinch control. The game does do some auto zooming that I don't particularly like, but I can see the reason they do it. Carcassonne supports up to 5 players and supports hot seat play although network play, a highlight of the iOS and XBLA versions, is mysteriously absent. And instead of 'easy' and 'hard' difficulty levels there are 12 AI personalities to play against with descriptions that tag the characters with keywords such as 'dense' or 'sly'.
by Alster at 8:16 AM